Govt spells out plan for 'liveable city, endearing home'

Govt spells out plan for 'liveable city, endearing home'

SINGAPORE - In Wednesday's Addenda to the President's Address in Parliament, the Government put the focus on building a "liveable city and endearing home" for all Singaporeans.

Upgrading public housing estates remain a top priority for the Government, with plans to refresh older Housing Board (HDB) estates, covering 100,000 flats in the next three years, it said in the statement.

More parks, cultural and sports facilities are also in the works.

Addressing a major bugbear among many citizens, the Government said that it will "invest heavily" on the public transport system and "significantly raise service standards".

The rail network is expected to expand by 25 per cent in the next three years, with new lines and extensions. More trains will be added to cut waiting time, it said.

The public bus industry is looking at a restructure. The Government said it plans to own key assets such as depots and buses, while companies bid for the right to operate routes, which will be planned by the Government.

sinsh@sph.com.sg

The full Addenda below:

Cluster cover notes for Addenda to the President's Address in Parliament, May 2014 - "Liveable City, Endearing Home"

1 Singapore is our Home. It is where we share our lives with our families and friends, and realise our aspirations. We will build a liveable city and an endearing home for all Singaporeans.

2 One key priority is to continue to upgrade and transform our public housing estates. Through the Home Improvement Programme (HIP), we will refresh older HDB estates, covering 100,000 flats within the next three years. We will help couples and their parents live together, or close by, so that they can care for each other and render mutual support. We will facilitate ageing-in-place by making HDB homes and estates elder-friendly, and enhance them with more amenities.

3 Singaporeans can also look forward to more parks, waterways, cultural and sports facilities. We will expand the park connector network and build the Round-Island Route, a 150 km continuous recreational corridor connecting Singaporeans to parks and places of interest across the island. Our aim is for nearly all Singaporeans to live within 400 metres of a park; to be within a 10-minute walk of a sports and recreational facility; and to have convenient access to an island-wide network of arts and culture nodes and heritage trails.

4 To keep our city liveable, we will invest heavily to increase the capacity of our public transport system and significantly raise service standards. In the next three years, new lines and extensions will expand our rail network by 25 per cent. We will upgrade the signalling system for our oldest lines to run at shorter intervals and add 83 more trains to cut waiting time. We will restructure the public bus industry by transiting to a contracting model where the government plans bus service routes and owns key assets such as bus depots and buses, while companies bid for the right to operate the routes. This will benefit commuters, who can look forward to better and more responsive bus services.

5 At the same time, we will develop a greater variety of sustainable transport options. We will build over 200 km of sheltered walkways, and a comprehensive island-wide cycling path network totalling over 700 km. We will also encourage alternatives to car ownership, such as car-sharing schemes, to cater to those who need to use a car from time to time, and make this a city where owning a car is not a necessity.

6 We will take full advantage of new technologies, especially sensors like video cameras, fibre and wireless networks, robotics technology like driverless vehicles, and ordinary citizens with smart phones, to make Singapore a Smart Nation - one with greener and more pleasant urban living, more effective public services and more opportunities for citizen engagement.

7 Ultimately, we need all Singaporeans to contribute to our shared goal of a liveable city and endearing home. The government will continue to seek ideas from the community and support ground-up efforts, which help strengthen community harmony, and enhance our sense of identity and belonging to Singapore. The details of specific initiatives by MCI, MCCY, MinLaw, MND, MEWR, MOT and PMO (NCCS, NPTD) are highlighted in the Annex.

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